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Case study: Irish firm ready to corner the world turbine market


An OpenHydro turbine being deployed off the coast of France.

An OpenHydro turbine being deployed off the coast of France.

An OpenHydro turbine being deployed off the coast of France.

AN Irish company is aiming to corner the international market for marine turbines, which can generate electricity from tidal movements.

OpenHydro, which is based in Greenore, Co Louth, believes it can achieve €2.1bn in sale worldwide once its turbines go into mass production.

The company has grown over the past decade and now has over 100 employees, including engineers, project developers and research-and-development staff.

It was taken over by French company DCNS last year and is now involved in projects in the North, the US, Canada and France.

These include a joint venture with Bord Gais to develop a 100-megawatt array off the Antrim coast.

Only certain parts of the Irish coastline are suitable for the creation of tidal energy, and we are not likely to see too many here in the future. Instead, OpenHydro is looking to position Ireland as a manufacturing and export hub.

The turbines it is developing and testing are up to 16 metres in diameter.

The company's environmental and external affairs manager, Sue Barr, told the Irish Independent it was now looking to commercialise the turbines it had developed.

"What that means is getting from manufacturing prototypes to mass production," said Ms Barr.

"We are looking at taking that technology forward and commercialising it.

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"That means making it cost-effective and as efficient as possible."

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